Last night I camped out by myself! Yes, it was only about 100 metres away from my boyfriends parents house but for me this was the first step towards my nominated 'small step' from Thursdays World Escape Day gathering.
My escape to become an adventurer has begun - I know it will possibly take years to become a reality but I feel motivated to get started on building a life that I will feel fulfilled by. At the escape meetup I made the decision that the first small step I would take on my journey would be to go on a solo microadventure. Now for me that's quite a big step so to gain a bit of confidence and start small I borrowed a 1 man tent from a friend and asked my boyfriend if it was too weird for me to sleep down in the quarry at the bottom of his parents house. Thankfully he's understanding of my craziness so I was all set for last night and just had to hold my nerve and 'grow some balls' so to speak!
It was late when we got back to the house and after eating I set out in the dark with my torch and tent and headed off to pitch up. We've wandered down to the quarry a fair few times with the dog but in the dark and by myself it felt a lot further away from the house than I remembered. Telling myself everything was fine, I setup the tent and headed back to the house to grab my sleeping bag and rucksack. 45 minutes later I said goodnight to everyone and headed out to bed, refusing to take a key in case I wanted to come back in as for me it would be too easy then not to go through with it.
Once settled in the tent I read for a bit and then turned off my headtorch to hit the hay. Sleeping in a tent never really comes easily to me and without the soothing snoring of my other half all I could hear was the silence of the night occasionally broken by snapping twigs or rustling bushes. Telling myself it's probably just the deer or foxes trotting by was all I could do to keep the fear at bay. Numerous times I thought I was nodding off only to wake to a cracking twig to the left of my tent and I'd be lying if the thought of someone creeping around outside didn't enter my head. Trying to keep calm and stop my thumping heart I made myself understand the logic and likelihood of someone being out there.....very slim chance, no-one is going to wander aimlessly in the countryside hoping to come across a lone camper to murder surely?
It was 2am when I looked at my watch - a normal occurence when I'm out on a bivvy microadventure but I had hoped to get to sleep a bit earlier in the confines of the tent. I must have slept eventually but I was restless during the night before finally waking up to see that it was 7am. 'Hahaaaa, I've done it and I'm still alive' was my first thought before a huge smile adorned my face! About 15 minutes later I dragged myself out of the tent and put some clothes on to find the dog barking and coming to greet me with my other half heading down to see me in his dressing gown. I'd just set the BruKit going for a cuppa and all was well - I felt totally on cloud nine!
I'm not quite there yet but I'm on my way to my first solo microadventure - small steps.....